Love Wins: Supporting our Peers

If you follow us on social media, you’ve probably heard that Blu finished her Peer Support Specialist training and has returned to us with a new job title and a promotion! We’re so proud of her!

Peer support means just that, supporting our peers as they pursue their goals.  Blu’s first week back was busy!  It started with a bang as 2 of our community members decided that it was time to pursue going to rehab.  Blu helped them get into programs that would work for them.  She’s kept daily contact with them to offer words of encouragement or a shoulder to cry on.  She’s contacted natural supports (friends and family) so that they will have additional encouragement.  She’s gone a step further to help line up places for them to go after rehab so that they have the best chance at being successful.

Support takes many forms.  She’s gotten medicaid paperwork to start that process for people.  She’s helped someone navigate how to get a phone. She’s spoken to guardians and payees to help facilitate communication.  She’s given one young man the space and resources he needed to apply for financial aid for college online.  Each problem is unique, but that is what makes our jobs so interesting; no two days are alike.

Our operations manager and volunteer coordinator, Alyssa, has also been hard at work this week organizing our community volunteers.  Being a community volunteer is another way that we offer support; volunteering brings people a sense of accomplishment, self-esteem, and an opportunity to fill in the gaps of a resume’ through truly meaningful work.  Look for her blog next week about our community volunteers!

One last story of peer support- this week one of our community members decided to re-enroll in school and I had the opportunity to attend her IEP meeting as a community support person.  I’m so proud of her and I’m excited that not only will she be completing her high school course work, but she’ll also have the opportunity to attend a vocational school right down the street for cosmetology! Her long-term goal is to one day own her own hair salon. My goal is to support her through this journey so that she knows that there is someone in her corner, rooting for her to succeed every single day.

I can’t express how proud I am of our staff and our community members!  We’ve got big things happening over here and our peers have lots of support to be their best selves!


Author: MaRanda Kiser

Food is my love language- it's how I express love into the world.